Welcome to my A2 Media Studies Blog. The brief is: to produce a music video, a digipak cover, and magazine advert for the digipak. Throughout the course we will be learning about conventions (general and genre specific) used for each of these products.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

All - Final Cut

Here is Sublime Transcendence's final cut for Sunburnt In December's song "Like a Match to an Arsonist". The video contains horror and gore aspects with the main inspiration behind the idea being the 1981 film An American Werewolf In London directed by John Landis.

WARNING: The video does contain flashing lights and extremely fast paced editing.

All - Final Magazine Advert

Here is our Final Magazine Advert.

All - Final Digipak

Here is the final digipak.

Front Panel

Bank Panel

Credit Section

Lyric Section


RM - Evaluation Question 1

This is my first evaluation question for the A2 Coursework project. The evaluation question was:

In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

In this video I will be discussing the common conventions and genre conventions found in the three products: the music video, the magazine advert (for the digipak) and the digipak. I will also be discussing how we have reflected these or challenged them.

Since recording these evaluation questions we have added a additional aspects and slightly changed certain aspects to the digipak. To view these changes click here.

RM - Evaluation Question 2

This is my second evaluation question for the A2 Coursework project. The evaluation question was: 

How effective is the combination of your main products and ancillary texts?

In this video I will be discussing the similarities and differences between the three products: the music video, the magazine advert (for the digipak) and the digipak, as well as whether these themes would be found in the real world if they had been produced by a professional production group.  I will also discuss how the products work together as a whole.

Since recording these evaluation questions we have added a additional aspects and slightly changed certain aspects to the digipak. To view these changes click here.

RM - Evaluation Question 3

This is my third evaluation question for the A2 Coursework project. The evaluation question was: 

What have you learned from your audience feedback?

In this video I will be discussing what we have learnt from our feedback from our target audience as well as audience received from individuals not necessarily in our target audience. I will also be discussing the ways we obtained feedback as well as how we used feedback to change aspects of all three products: the music video, the magazine advert (for the digipak) and the digipak, during the editing procedures.

Since recording these evaluation questions we have added a additional aspects and slightly changed certain aspects to the digipak. To view these changes click here.

RM - Evaluation Question 4

This is my fourth evaluation question for the A2 Coursework project. The evaluation question was: 

How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

In this video I will be discussing what new media technologies we have used throughout the entire project during the research and planning, construction (filming and editing procedures) and evaluation stages of the course, for all three of the products: the music video, the magazine advert (for the digipak) and the digipak. As well as the differences of the equipment and software used this year compared to last year.

Since recording these evaluation questions we have added a additional aspects and slightly changed certain aspects to the digipak. To view these changes click here.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

CO - Digipak Additions

I have made some edits to the digipak, and have now included a sticker detailing the contents, and also a spine with the name of the digipak, a catalogue number and the record label on it. In addition to THAT, I have also changed the format of the inside so that there is a pullout/booklet for the lyrics, printed on every page, giving the text more room and also allowing for more images to be incorporated into the digipak. To see the largest version of the pullout, click here. Lastly, I have edited the tracks on the back of the digipak to suit the conventions more and changed the font to a more eroded and distorted one too.

To see the updated digipak back, click here.
To see the updated digipak front, click here.
To see the new lyric pages, click here.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

All - Rough Cut 9 Feedback

For the ninth rough cut we decided to implement it into our music video with the use on the annotation tool, featured on YouTube. Please ensure that the annotation tool is turned on to view this feedback.
Additional feedback is welcomed either by leaving a comment underneath this post or in the comment section in YouTube.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

All - Sunburnt In December "Like a Match to an Arsonist" Rough Cut 9

Here is our ninth rough cut for Sunburnt In December's "Like a Match to an Arsonist". In this cut we have followed the previous feedback from rough cut 7 (i.e. Implementing a werewolf sound at the start where there is a shot of the full moon, thus proving anchorage of the beast).

For this rough cut we have used the annotation tool for show feedback received. If you do not wish to see this feedback please ensure the annotation tool is turned off. Additional feedback is welcomed either in the comments below this post or in the comment section on YouTube.

Friday, 30 March 2012

All - Rough Cut 8

Today (30th March 2012) Sublime Transcendence created their eighth rough cut. We have addressed the majority of the feedback received yesterday, which features in the last post. However we are planning to add a werewolf howl in the near future and address the issue of there not being enough focus on Sam. We will resolve this by editing clips we already have or record some close-ups of Sam vocalising. Although we will have to be careful whilst doing the latter as there isn't any snow covering the ground.

This is our latest rough cut:

All - Rough Cut 7 Feedback

Yesterday (29th March 2012) we received feedback on our latest rough cut.

The feedback included:

  • Instead of shots being cut and blank gaps being left, replace the gaps with shots. This was due to a highly fast paced editing and flashing - this could cause  strokes for people with epilepsy. Although we agreed with this issue we decided to keep it at the end as we don't think it would cause epilepsy and actually suits this part of the video.
  • Another was to cut more of the shots, especially for the quickly edited aspects.
  • We had also received feedback the the name of the band and song should be removed as they aren't necessarily a common convention of the genre. Also not many artists do this in the music industry.
  • Remove the diegetic noise from the performance aspects which overlap.
  • Include more close-ups of the Sam, the vocalist.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

All - Rough Cut 7

Yesterday (28th March 2012) Sublime Transcendence finialised a new rough cut, to Sunburnt In December's "Like a Match to an Arsonist". We have taken in feedback and it is reflected in this cut. We have also taken inspiration from other music videos which are in or lose to the genre, metalcore. Examples of music videos which have influenced this cut is Metallica's "Enter Sandman" and Miss May I's "Masses of a Dying Breed".

We are planning to recieve feedback in the near future and make the required changes.

Here is our final cut:

Friday, 16 March 2012

All - Sunburnt In December "Like a Match to an Arsonist" Rough Cut 16th March

Here is Sublime Transcendence's rough cut, as of 16th March, for Sunburnt In December's song "Like a Match to an Arsonist"

Thursday, 15 March 2012

RM: Drafting Evaluation: Question 1

1. In what ways does your media product use, develop or challenge forms and conventions of real media products?

Define general conventions of texts (format)
Compare to what we have done
Define genre specific conventions
Again, compare to what we have done

Common Conventions in Music Video
- Usually a combination of two of Goodwin’s theory (Narrative, Performance and Concept)
- If performance based there is usually lip-syncing
- Close-ups of instruments
- Faster passed editing compared to other media texts, unless deciding to go against the convention
- High key lighting glamorises the vocalist however low key lighting is used but tends to be for sub genres
- Use of stereotypes, easy to communicate with audience
- Shot variation, particularly close-ups
- Non-diegetic into, outro or breaking into the song

Music Video Common Conventions used:
- Goodwin’s theory: Narrative and performance
- Close-ups of instruments
- Fast passed editing
- Shot variation
- Non-diegetic intro

Genre Conventions:
- Fast passed editing
- Special effects
- Links to religion
- Focus on the lead vocalist
- Lip-syncing

Genre Conventions used:
- Fast passed editing
- Special effects
- Focus on the lead vocalist

Convention of Digipak
- Links between the front and back panel and a link between each of the inside panels
- Sticker
- Back panel containing songs that are included on the CD
- Colour scheme
- Barcode
- Leaflet
- Name of artist and album title
- Copyright information
- Websites for the record label and band
- Catalogue number on spine

Digipak conventions used:
- Links between the front and back panel and a link between each of the inside panels
- Sticker
- Back panel containing songs that are included on the CD
- Colour scheme
- Barcode
- Leaflet
- Name of artist and album title
- Copyright information
- Websites for the record label and band

Conventions of a magazine advert:
- Artist’s name
- Album name
- Tour dates
- Where to find the band – Facebook, Twitter, MySpace etc, also record label’s website as well as band’s own website.
-Date of release (if not already)

Magazine Advert conventions used
- Artist’s name
- Album name
- Tour dates
- Where to find the band
- Date of release

RM - Drafting Evaluation: Question 2

2. How effective is the combination of your main products and ancillary texts?

- In real world production of three products would have been done by different companies. – 1 example that creates a product.
- Think of the themes of the three products
- Think of examples of digipaks, magazine advert and music video. which don’t contain integration – just because one product has one aspect doesn’t mean the others have to. Also provide where they do.

Themes included in our products:

- Isolation theme running throughout all three products.
- Integration: Location shots of narrative and performance in the magazine advert.
- Shots of narrative aspects located in the digipak.
- Differentiates: Photographs of original intended location (Twelve Appostles)
- Narrative aspects throughout all three of the products
- Death, Limbo, Narrative enigma, Northern touch, Rural aspect, Horror and Supernatural aspects feature in all three products. Although not all shots that are in the digipak and magazine advert appear in the music video and vice versa.
- Differentials between the time of day.
- Image manipulation
- Fake blood in music video and magazine advert but not in digipak
- Performance aspects in music video featured in the magazine advert.
- Location aspects in the music video featured in the digipak.
- Beast aspect not in all three products. However would be in the texts in real world

Music video is in the public eye (but depends on age rating) as well as digipak. Magazine Advert depends on the readership – tone up for older audience whereas tone down for younger audience.

RM: Drafting Evaluation: Question 3

3. What have you learned from your audience feedback?

- Specify who the primary and secondary target audience are.
- How we obtained this feedback and what their age and gender is
   - Youtube, Twitter, Sputnick music (forum), Facebook, etc.
- Discuss specific points and go into one cut’s feedback in detail – show the differences between before and after this feedback.
- Mention that not all feedback is necessarily good – use examples and explain why group thought not to use it.
- Summarise including my opinions on how well the feedback was and it was useful or not for each of the three products.

For the Music Videos mention:
- Removed all the shots with houses in, thus improved mise-en-scene and made the location appeared more isolated and fits into the genres to a better degree. This was done by a mixture of rotating, cropping and scaling up the clips in final cut express.
- Removed the cursing and replaced with beeps again used final cut express -> adds comedy aspect which plays a subpart throughout
- Tried to have a 4 split screen shot however the group and feedback said it didn’t reflect the genre. Therefore it didn’t make it into a rough cut.
- Not all over layering suits the aspects where used -> re-edited in final cut and have got repeated feedback on these aspects where it works and where it doesn’t.
- Diegetic introduction too long -> reduced clips was 36 seconds now under 30
- Added earthquake effects -> have a sense of sound waves moving the camera
- A common convention of having more close-ups of Sam did this in the reshoot but also scaled the clips.
For the Digipak mention:
- Cartoon like imagery
- Use of found photographs and images
- Didn't suit genre
- Not in line with our target audience
- Didn't tie into other products

For the Magazine Advert:
- Too much text and unnecessary information (had a single cover for the chosen song)
- Lack of tie into the other two products
- Didn't fit into our target audience and where the product would be found Terrorizer and Rock Sound

RM - Drafting Evaluation: Question 4

4. How did you use new media technologies in the construction and research, planning and evaluation stages?

-List of technologies used and software used.
-Sharing websites including YouTube to research common conventions in music videos generally and genre specific (done through deconstructions) but also to gain feedback through comments.
-Websites including Wikipedia to gain access to information about bands, record labels, theories and genres however websites like Wikipedia aren’t a reliable source as the majority of pages can be edited by anyone.
- Social networking sites, forums and blogs including twitter and to allow for feedback on the product(s)
-Editing software: iMovie, Final Cut Express, photoshop etc. Mentioning the tools used.

Monday, 12 March 2012

RM - Research in Music Video Directors P. R. Brown

Art director, designer, photographer
for Godsmack's album Faceless
Art director, designer, photographer
for Godsmack's album The Other Side
P. R. Brown is a graphic designer, photographer, and music video director. As well as being well known for directing music videos he is also known well for designing album covers. Some of the album covers he has designed are for Mötley Crüe, Korn, Godsmack and Marilyn Manson. However he has directed music videos in a range of ranges. Bands he has directed music videos for include Bullet For My Valentine, My Chemical Romance, The Smashing Pumpkins,  Slipknot and many more.

Click here to see his full filmography

Sourced: Wikipedia

Each time P. R. Brown produces a music video he either tries to follow it on from the previous music video produced, an example of this would be My Chemical Roman's "Sing" with their music video following on from their pprevious single "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)", or tries to create something a little different compared to the band's previous videos. He has also known to take inspiration from films including The Road. The following extract is taken from an interview with VEVO talking about Lamb of God's music video for “Ghost Walking” which he produced.
P.R. Brown: I got a basic brief from the label as to where the band was going with its visuals and message for the whole album. And we made a teaser for the album a few weeks ago. It had snippets of one track, and a lot of the imagery was around Armageddon. It’s from the band’s perspective of there being no one left to save. It takes on this found-footage feeling of an underground movement that’s just about the end times, basically.
VEVO: Something that would parallel the film The Road?
P.R. Brown: Perfect call, yes. That’s the vibe of the album. So with that in mind, it was “how to do we make a lyric video with that kind of sensibility?” It was kind going into the notion of found archives and redacted text that the lyrics could come out from. The band has redacted text in their album art work as well. So that was the backbone for creating the lyric video: what would it be like if I found all these hundreds of documents with cryptic messages in them.
The full interview can be read here.
This is a similar approach to the music video we are producing as the main inspiration for our music video is the film "An American Werewolf In London".

Here are some examples:
My Chemical Romance - Sing

Bullet for My Valentine - Your Betrayal

Smashing Pumpkins - Tarantula

Smashing Pumpkins - Tarantula by Warner-Music

Slipknot - Psychosocial

Sunday, 11 March 2012

CO - Digipak's relationship to video and original images

I created the digipak's designs with the same idea that I'd had with the magazine ad, and that was to create a recurring theme through all three media texts. The main idea I wanted is that of the location and surrounding area that we shot; this involves Ilkley moor, stills from the wood where we shot our video and other varying areas of greenery. Our original plan was to shoot at the 12 Apostles on Ilkley Moor, but this soon became problematic as we could not get the equipment up there, especially in the snowy conditions we had.

Still, we used an image of the 12 apostles anyway because of the foreboding and isolated appearance of it, and also due to the aspect of intertextuality it had with Stonehenge, i.e the Spinal Tap-esque feel, but not as tongue-in-cheek.We used quite a lot of pictures from this area, and used Adobe Photoshop to edit them subtly, I decided to go with black and white undertone.

Another shot we used, for the back panel.
This is the front cover; featuring a forest
canopy, edited with instagram.

CO - Magazine Ad - relationship to video & original images

Another shot I played around with.
When I was creating the magazine advert for our group, I thought it should have a strong theme that echoes through both the advert's layout and also links in with our music video, forming a sort of contextuality through both media texts. I had done a series of drafts before the final one was completed, and those also related to the video, and included pictures, stills and more, but the backgrounds needed work and were not prominent and detailed enough.

Here are the original images that I took for the advert's background. I created these by lying my guitar down in the grass and covering my arm in food-colouring (the colouring was blue, so I had to make the image black and white instead) to give the impression of a bloodied band member, a theme obviously recurring throughout the whole music video.

The final image used for the advert.

One of the runner-up ideas, I liked the torch
aspect on this one.

Friday, 9 March 2012

SB - Relationship of Artists to Genre

Miss May I
Metalcore is a very formulaic genre with many bands falling under the same sound. This is very typical of bands who fall under the Rise Records label, they're often ridiculed and parodied because of the similar musical style and influences and the majority of them sound very 'cut and paste' examples of bands like this are Attack Attack!, Miss May I and Make Me Famous. These bands stick to the formulaic conventions of the genre heavily and don't really try to differ from the conventions, and follow all the rules, such as incorporating multiple breakdowns, dischords, clean vocal passages and dowtuned riffs.

The Devil Wears Prada
However there are bands who challenge the rules and can still be classed as a metalcore band. Examples of this are The Devil Wears Prada (TDWP), letlive. (to a certain extent) and Underoath. These bands are seen as changing the genre and often disregarding some of the common conventions. The Devil Wears Prada are famous for starting off like a typical Rise Records band. (regarded as the first band to start that trend off) They quickly left Rise Records and joined Ferret who are a more hardcore orientated label and started to incorporate more of the hardcore elements in their music. Gradually over time the band has got heavier and heavier while other bands (normally on Rise Records) have got less heavy and started to become what TDWP started out being. letlive. are a band that have incorporated many genres into their music they can be labelled as hardcore or metalcore but really they oppose genre and don't want to be caught under the same net as typical metalcore bands.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

CO - Role of Audience Feedback

As we near the end of our production stage of our music video, we can safely say as a collective that audience feedback has been an extremely important and significant part of the creation of the video. Without it, we would not know what to expect from a wide demographic or a second target audience, let alone a first one, and each session of feedback has helped us strengthen both our performance and our narrative as we worked on it. The audience feedback ranged from smaller points such as "This person could be wearing this instead of this to create a better mis-en-scene" etc. to much larger points such as "I recommend you film in an entirely different location", both of which we took into account and used to help better our production. Similarly to that we also took into account more technical aspects, such as improvements that could be made using Final Cut Express, and also utilizing parts from its large palette of effects to incorporate the use of new media technologies into our music video.

CO - Using Final Cut Express

As a way of incorporating the use of new media technologies, classes this year and the year beforehand have heavily advocated the use of Final Cut Express, a variant of Apple's hugely successful Final Cut Pro. This rather fantastic utility allows users to import footage in a variety of formats including .xml, .mov, .mp4 and many more and use a whole host of different tools, appliances and devices to edit whatever you want. We all thought that the use of Final Cut Express helped us extensively throughout the video's creation, and still is. It was of course a huge step up to being restricted to iMovie '08, which was the program that a majority of us used last year for our film openings, as we got to use so many more features; notable examples on our video include (or will include when we're done with it) various "hot colour" tints such as deep red and sepia, glows, fades, possible dazzles, the earthquake effect (which obviously shakes a chosen focal point to simulate a tremor) and a lot of fade in/fade out/cross dissolve transitions. However, the main effect that we used in FCE was the use of the bezier brightness and contrast slider, where we darkened and lightened shots we needed, which we couldn't do before. To summarise, the use of Final Cut Express has greatly helped Sublime Transcendence achieve all we wanted by using effects and precision within the post-production stages of our video.

CO - Representation of Gender in our video

To begin with, it would be important to note that our video roughly features the gender-based conventions of most metalcore/metal, as the most predominant feature is the fully male lineup of Sunburnt In December. Most bands of the genre have this gendered approach, such as August Burns Red, The Devil Wears Prada, The Acacia Strain, Periphery and more, just off the top of my head. Going against this convention however, are bands such as Kittie, Arch Enemy, Aliases, Eyes Set to Kill, iwrestledabearonce! and more all feature female

Leah from ALIASES, a prog-
ressive metalcore band, a subgenre near
our own one, defying the convention
of all metalcore bands having all-male members.
vocalists or members. We realised that we had the all-male set that the target audience for our genre would recognise, yet within our actual video's narrative, we tried to break away from convention a little bit, because of the reason that it is often a final girl/scream queen that is obviously chased by an unseen being, inhuman or other, and all of us in Sublime Transcendence agreed it was a good idea to have an all-male cast, not just for practicalities, but so we could link it well to the performance whilst forming a binary opposite to the more conventional female leads.

All - Budget

Whilst creating our music video we have had to work with a very limited budget, like all groups which across the year. The only time we needed to buy items was creating the fake intestines and fake blood.

The items we bought to create the fake intestines, and there prices follows:
Tights -  £3.50
A lot of kitchen roll - £1.25
4x Strawberry Jelly (125grams)  - £0.37 each

The items we bought to create the fake blood or as follows:
1x Golden Syrup (454grams) - £0.99
1x Red Food Colouring (38Ml) - £1.05

We also bought and used some fake blood however we feel that the fake blood we created is of higher quality.

Here is our vodcast on how Sam created the fake intestines:

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

All - Feedback For Latest Rough Cut

Today we got the following feedback:
Cross dissolve from the shot of the band members walking into the distance to the shot leading to the band.
In the lead to the band being shown include more diegetic sound
Or remove the first section (the narrative introduction) and have the shot leading up to the band as the first shot
The narrative aspects need to be earlier
Need to think more carefully on the transitions used and how long
Change the line "Guys just going for a piss"
Animate shots therefore allowing for zooming in shots, especially for the vocalist
Smooth down the audio instead of dropping it harshly when there are lines in the narrative
Cut back to the performance aspect and cut the shot where two band members fall.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

All - Rough Cut (5th March)

Here is our latest rough cut for Sunburnt In December's "Like A Match To An Arsonist". We plan to gain feedback in the upcoming days. We are also planning on re-filming aspects of the narrative section this this Friday, in particular the opening scene.

All - Final Digipak Designs

Here are the main panels that we are using for our digipak, all have gone numerous feedback-induced changes along the way. We plan to use some images of the landscape for possible additional panels too.

Front panel.



Back panel.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

CO - Latest Magazine ad edition

I have just completed the latest edition of the magazine ad, this time including all the feedback we got from the last effort I made. It includes aspects of layering and a whole new design, focusing on a still from the music video, a bloodied band member with a discarded instrument. To see the image in its maximum resolution (the filesize is massive), click this link.

Monday, 27 February 2012

RM - Poll Closure: Is Metalcore a genre

In class throughout the school year there has been much discussion to whether or not metalcore is a genre. I therefore decided to do a poll on this, as the music video we are producing is for a metalcore song.

The poll received 11 votes, the results can be seen to the right. This confirms to us that the spilt opinion we have had in class also appears to be in the outside world.

If you are unsure what the metalcore genre is click here.

If you would like to vote but haven't had the chance please leave a message underneath and explain why you feel it is or isn't a genre.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

All - Feedback on Latest Rough Cut

For our latest rough cut we got the following feedback:

  • Remove all the shots that contain houses. We have managed to cut these shots out by rotating and panning into the shots,
  • Remove all explicits although the "Bleeps" need to be added to add to the humour of the music video,
  • A possibility to link the first shot into the second of the introduction is to fade the moon into Conor's face. Also extend the transition and zoom into the moon,
  • The diegetic introduction is too long and needs to be reduced. At the time of receiving these notes it was around 36 seconds however now we have managed to reduce this element to by reducing clips that go on for too long,
  • The need to use more transitions that fade ins/outs. An example of this is trying a four shot split screen of each band member picking up his own instrument. When we tried this we felt it didn't suit the genre of our music video,
  • There is a need for more close-ups of Sam, especially in the intro of the song. There is also a need to reduce the amount of group shots incorporated,
  • Earthquake transitions on close-ups of guitars,
  • Bring the narration soon earlier,
  • During the chorus focus more on Mitch instead of the rest of the band,
  • Include artificial zooms,
  • Include more multilayering at specific times (particularly in darker areas and skyline in lighter areas),
  • The claw shots are too quick. There is a need to give the audience the chance to establish what is happening. Also need to cross-cut between the chase and performance aspects,
  • A need to think about the song and certain aspects and reflect it in our editing,
  • Slow down footage to produce a slow mo effect if there is not enough gore,
  • Remove any awkward shots i.e. A shot of Sam where he stops moving to remove some of the fake intestines,
  • The narrative aspect needs more sense of a creature lurking on the more. Also the possibility of creating a false scare,
  • Shots of the moon incorporated into other shots in the narrative gives more sense of a creature,
  • Re-dub Conor's lines "Guys Im going for a piss" to something similar to "I'm going to be one at nature" adds to the humour also have a diegect zip,
  • Slashing noise followed by a shot of blood rushing down.
  • There needs to be more shots of the creature to anchor what it is,
  • Also a need for more close-ups and extreme close-ups of Sam,
  • A possibility of red liquid being spat out. However in our first shoot we did try to create this with red blood capsules it didn't work but we could try and use a different substance in the form of a liquid,
  • The narrative aspect needs to be more dynamic also needs to come in earlier,
  • To add further humour to the music video we could include a portable barbecue which intestines are thrown onto. Later on in the music video a band member could eat these. The video also needs more gore and
  • Another possibility to colour saturate the snow in where Mitch and James fall over to red, signifying the two slipping on blood rather than snow.

All - Full Rough Cut 1

Here is our first full rough cut of Sunburnt In December's "Like A Match To An Arsonist". This full rough cut contains both narrative and performance aspects. We already have some feedback on how to develop this edit and are planning to receive more in the very near future.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

All - Vodcast 3: Making Fake Intestines

In this vodcast Sam shows you how to create fake intestines, which were used in the video "Like A Match To An Arsonist" by Sunburnt In December.

Friday, 10 February 2012

All - Feedback from 3rd Sample Scene

On Friday we received feedback for our third sample scene. The feedback received included:

• No Swearing. This is apparent in the diegetic intro to solve this problem we "beeped" out the sound but we still need to either edit these explicates out or have to re-shoot this scene again.
• Also in the diegetic intro there are a couple of shaky shots which need to be resolved.
• As we filmed with two different cameras there are some widescreen shots and full screen shots that need to be changes. We will be trying to resolve these issues the next time we edit these clips.
• Mise-en-scene also has issues with the performance as some shots contain houses in the background. Thus means these shots won't be used or we will have to re-shoot the performance again.
• Also a couple of shots go on for too long so we will need to change the length of these. The most apparent one is the first shot.
• Also the need to gain of a few shots has been suggested, thus including shots of torch light panning along the floor.
• Reduce the amount of fade ins and outs used at the beginning. To solve this we could cut between the band members picking up their instruments to seeing them as part of the narrative aspect.
• Another suggestion is that we shouldn't launch straight into the performance as we have. Particularly into the vocals.
• It has also been recommended that we bring in the monster sooner and have more emphasis on it as well as having hints to what it could possibly be. As well as anchorage on the moors.
• As well as this the narrative aspect has to be more dominant. At the current stage the performance aspect is more dominant so this needs to be changed.

All - Sample Scene 3

This is our (Sublime Transcendence's) third editfor Sunburnt In December's single "Like a Match to an Arsonist". We will be receiving feedback in our next class.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

SB - Editing All Of Our Footage

At the moment we are editing the footage that we filmed on sunday and monday. We have found some problems with lighting in the narrative shoot but we have found a way in which we can make the shots lighter, by playing around with the brightness and contrast of the shots.

We have cut up all of our performance and found a large contrast in quality between both cameras we used which could be a problem however we will try to include fleeting shots taken by the camera with the worst quality.

We have included a lot more shot variation from our first shoot such as close ups and a lot more framing

Monday, 6 February 2012

ALL - Performance footage update

Yesterday, Sublime Transcendence and the other members of Sunburnt In December met to film the performance of our Like A Match To An Arsonist video. Unfortunately Jem wasn't there as he had 'work' so we drafted in our friend James Newton to play bass. Before they arrived, we all started making the props; these includes making the fake blood (cunningly fashioned by mixing hot golden syrup, water and red food colouring) and intestines created from jelly, tissue paper, and the freshly-made fake blood.

The rest of SBID then arrived and we set up the drums and guitars in the same location as our last shoot; the snow covered much of the surrounding area (as it tends to do) which masked the road behind us and also some of the houses, giving our location a much nicer look and a more remote one. We recorded a whole lot of coverage, over an hour of performance, much more than we shot last time, which was about half of that, maybe even less, and we made sure we used a lot of more camera angles and techniques due to the use of two cameras rather than one. We had decided to film, effectivly, every shot with the two cameras therefore leaving us two different angles per one play through.

The band also played with playback this time. Therefore there is less chance of the band being out of time unlike before.

We are importing the footage today however it will take longer as we have more footage than previously as well as having to import the footage from two cameras. However we aim to start editing the footage as soon as possible.

One problem we have noticed while looking through the footage is the possible continuity error of the snow, we filmed in the snow and now the snow is melting away. This could cause a problem when we film our narrative as there is less snow. We could mention this in the video with some dialogue, but it's going to be very hard to slip into the conversation.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

SB - Miss May I - Masses of a Dying Breed Deconstruction

Band: Miss May I
Song Title: Masses of a Dying Breed
Year: 2011
Genre: Metalcore
Directors: Bradley R. Golowin & Kevin Prose Cross
Target Audience: 15-24

Using Goodman's theory this video would fit into all categories as there is a narrative however it is un related to the lyrics, as well as some performance footage. The video has very fast takes this links in with the genre of the song, (metalcore). When we film our video we need to take this into account and film a large ammount of shots so we can edit between them easily.

The shot variation and the framing in the video is very good. In the video there are a large amount of clsoe ups on individual band members and their instruments, in these shots the camera is usually moving wether it being in a handheld fashion or tracking. The handheld movement makes the band member playing their instrument look more dynamic when they move and signifies that this genre of music is usually associated with action and movement. There is also good use of long shots and extreme long shots of the performance and the narrative. Most of these also include some form of movement such as tracking. In one shot the camera is low to the groiund tracking the band members across the forest, this shot would be very useful to replicate because it's also featured in other videos of the same genre and looked very effective at showing all the band members without it being a boring stationary shot, it also looks as if something is prowling along the floor this could link in with our idea of a monster chasing the band members.

The narrative in the video is set in the american civil war, and the video depicts a bloody battle between two groups of armed men. The video is very bloody and gritty, this is reflected in the shooting and editing of the video. The handheld movement in the performance footage simulates a documentary like approach to filming his makes the situation seem realistic. The handheld movement also adds to the action of the scene making the video very movement orientated which fits into the genre.

Friday, 3 February 2012

ALL - Class feedback on first performance rough cut

Today we handed our first performance cut in for feedback. While the general idea for the performance was favoured, some of the class brought up some valid points. Here is a quick list of feedback we received.
  • Some of the surrounding scenery of our location was commented upon; for example people noticed the houses in the background and things, and we will make our next shoot location more out of the way and further from things like this.
  • The red tint technique used in the first cut was favoured and we will use the same technique for the final thing; however we will spend more time on it because at the moment it has quite a rushed appearance as we were hurried to hand the cut in.
  • The video needs more shot variation and more camera angles and techniques used; similarly, our final cut needs a lot more focus on Sam, our vocalist, as he is the center of attention for much of the video as he's the one singing rather than playing an instrument.
  • We also need to obtain more close-up footage of each band member in particular Sam, the lead vocalist. To add to this each band member needs to be move around more, in other words the band members need to be more mobile
  • Whilst editing the footage obtained this Sunday we need to produce much shorter and quicker takes. This allows for more shot variation. These quick shorter takes will also fit into the genre of our song.
  • Finally it has been suggested we contain some black comedy in the performance aspect with for example a band member's arm falling off. We had already planned to have some black comedy in the video in the narrative but it is suggested it is included in both aspects.

All - Performance Sample Scene

Today we have finished our first rough cut for the performance aspect using footage recorded on 21st January.

We will be gaining feedback from this rough cut in our second lesson of media today. This feedback will be taken into account for our next shoot on Sunday, 3rd February.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

SB - Target Audience Research

Fans at a Your Demise gig
Metalcore fans tend to be teenagers (15-24) of both genders, however the genre is very male orientated but it seems that females are more vocal about their opinions on metalcore bands as well as other topics associated with metalcore. The target audience tends to be 15- 24 this is evident through websites associated with the genre like Facebook groups, twitter, forums such as Kerrang!

Metalcore is more of a masculine genre than others possibly due to the heavy nature of the music. Live performances usually cater to a male audience because of things such as 'mosh pits' 'headbanging' and 'hardcore dancing' these are very active quite violent actions which appeal to more active male fans.

RM - What We Have Learned From The Last Film Shoot

During editing for a full sample video we have discovered a numerous amount of errors. 

Last time filming the decision was taken that, when close-ups are were being shot the only person in his position is the person being filmed. This means that shots which are good and are suitable for the videos can't be used because the shot reveals that he his playing by himself since there aren't any band members around him. Too add this this cars and houses are also in the background of some shots.

Another issue was that we didn't gain enough covered of the band as a whole. This has lead to use using two shots, one from behind some bushes and the other being in front of the band, for the majority of the time when the band is being shown as a whole. As well as this the band didn't play with playback therefore in stages they are out of time either by playing the song too quick or too slow.

To solve these issues when we next film, which is planned to be this Sunday, all band members will have playback. We will also try to use two cameras in two different positions to obtain more footage in the same time frame. We are also planning to film the diegetic intro and some narrative aspects depending on timing. The latter two will be filmed at night.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

CO - Magazine Ad - Edition three

This is my latest attempt at creating the magazine advert, after getting the general idea of what it should look like eventually, and I took all the feedback from my previous efforts into account when designing this one; there is a more dominant and striking background this time, and I also included less (or noticeably less) text but the vital information is still present, and I included stills from the video as well. Click this link to see the maximised image.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

CO - More magazine ad feedback...

Today Sublime Transcendence got feedback from our teacher and our classmates on our advert for the magazine. On the whole the idea was well received, but the main point is that there is apparently now too much text on the page, which was a result of trying to get all the necessary information on. Obviously this meant that the background needs to be more dominant as well, and perhaps less simplistic than just the tree design we had been going with previously. I will redesign the poster shortly with all these points taken into account, and using probably a different background picture, hopefully featuring the band.

SB - Movement In Metalcore Music Videos

Movement is a key aspect of metalcore videos, it visually show the velocity of the music on screen. It also shows the impact of the music on screen and the heavy, deafening sounds shaking the camera. I've been looking at examples of music videos which use movement well and looking at how we can replicate this.

Napalm Death - When all is Said and Done from Wake Up Now Festival on Vimeo.

Napalm Death use handheld movements typically the camera swaying from side to side or up and down this could also connote headbanging, moshing and hardcore dancing. a lot of the shots however do not show movement. This is a nice way to cut away from all of the excitement of the close ups. During close ups or individual shots of the band movement is shown, however when we see the whole band there's only a tiny bit of movement or none at all.

Monday, 23 January 2012

RM - The Narrative Aspect In Our Music Video

The start of the music video will feature a diegetic introduction with the band packing up, just after a gig. During this there will be band members discussing the next location and the possibility of a recurring occurrence for the band's future music videos. The music video will also feature Mitch who couldn't be at the latest film shoot, on 21st January 2012, however he would either be the driver whom drives them to their next location or still in the band depending on whether we need to record the performance footage again. This sequence would be around 30 to 60 seconds, with the latter being the maximum possible length.

After this sequence the next aspect would feature the vehicle broken down on the moors. Each band member would be performing a certain task, adventuring into the wilderness or messing around on certain instruments. Conor would be in the back of the car playing on his drums or tapping on his legs to a rhythm whilst listening to a song on his ipod. This song would be a happier song, a binary opposite to what is happening outside.  Jem would be trying to fix the motor, whilst Sam, Elliot and Mitch would explore the surrounding area all splitting up in the process. Whilst each band member is spread out each one gets picked off one by one. The creature that picks off each band member will remain a narrative enigma throughout the video, although parts of the being will be shown onscreen e.g. the monsters claw, pictured to the right. This would be interlinked with the performance footage. This aspect of the music video would feature throughout the video and also form the ending with Conor being pulled out of the car.

SB - Uploading and editing our test footage

We have just uploaded our test footage and we're now starting to dabble in editing and have found some problems and what we need to rectify such as the band playing too fast or slow, things in the background like coats and bags as well as the occasional passer by. We've also found some gems of shots and framing behind bushes and behind trees.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

All - Performance footage shot

Yesterday, all of Sublime Transcendence and all of Sunburnt In December (excluding our guitarist Mitch, who couldn't make it to the shoot) went up to the disclosed location, a forest-y area within our town and shot the performance footage for our video. We used stationary and moving shots, tried to implement some shot variation and also varied the camera angles a bit. We'll upload it to our designated Mac tomorrow and begin editing it; we also shot some of it in time with the song, such as the close up guitar parts but most of the song we mimed live, so use of slowing down/speeding up some parts will be necessary. We have yet to shoot the narrative, but once that's done, we'll upload that to the timeline and begin editing it between the performance!

The loss of a member being able to film was at first an inconvenience, but we can hopefully continue on with the remaining four of us; a certain member being available wasn't absolutely integral to the pitch and everything should go to plan as it would've done if Mitch could've helped Sublime Transcendence out anyway. Concerning the band's appearance in the digipak, we are shooting photos within the week which were scheduled to be done even before Mitch announced he couldn't make it so we'll get on without him.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

CO - More digipak updates - FRONT

Similar to the feedback for the magazine article in the post before, I have taken the criticisms and points made by both our media teacher and also various other groups in the class. Many of the comments were design orientated, such as fonts needing to be changed, colour schemes and more. Here are the latest edition of the front of the digipak.

CO - Magazine Ad - Edition two

Over the last few days, I have been working on editing the magazine article after the initial feedback. That feedback generally went along the lines of;

More features and aspects - the magazine advert needed additional information on it such as tour dates of the featured band.
  • Tickets details, such as where you can buy them from,
  • Merch details, same as ticket aspects; where you can buy it,
  • More variation in the font and general style of the advert.
I have taken this feedback into account and I have edited the design, subtly, but in such a way that you can see the changes. Click here to see the maximised image.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

All - 2nd Vodcast: Social Media, Filming Arrangements, Location Scouting and Conventions in Videos

Below is our second group vodcast, talking about social media (including sites like Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud and YouTube), filming arrangements location scouting and conventions in videos. We previously tried to upload it a few times but it hasn't worked up until now due to issues with the filetype.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

CO/RM - Final location scouting

After school today, Richard and I visited the area we're shooting at on Saturday. We took some pictures to give potential feedback providers.

The reason we have chosen this location for the performance aspect of the music video is because we are trying to achieve an isolated theme throughout the music video. This would tie into the location for the narrative as that also carries an isolated aspect as this will be filmed on the moors.

The shots taken also give us  slight indication to what shots will be available on Saturday, an example of this is pictured on the right, as well as the positioning of each of the band members. As there are houses in the surrounding areas we will have to ensure these don't feature in the video.

There are several positions the band members could be situated in the woods. However as there is a small amount of rubbish and manmade ramps, we will have to tidy and position the band around these objects. For example the lead vocalist could be position on one of these, therefore showing that he is the focus as well as having the power over the audience, common conventions in music videos.

During the performance aspect of the music video we intend to have cut away shots which would focus on the performance location but not feature any of the band members. The two shots directly above and the one shot below are examples of how these cut away shots could be obtained and appear during the music video. Another aspect we could use during this aspect is the use of effects. An example of this is the use of multilayering.

This location, pictured throughout this post, will just be used for the performance (like previously mention), the reason for this is because we intend to film the narrative on the local moor. This change in locations for the narrative and performance aspects are commonly scene in music videos generally and genre specific.